Stuffed Pork Loin with Cinnamon Sauce

In this slow-cooked Pork Loin recipe we sealed the pork in the frying pan to give it a nice colour. We then cooked the mirepoix with white wine, cloves, peppercorns and stock. We put the mixture into an oven proof dish with the beautiful pork loin on top, we covered tightly with foil and finished it in the oven at 165C for about 1 1/2 hours.

Ingredients

  • Stuffed pork loin (ask the butcher to stuff it for you)
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 70g tomato paste
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 10g ground cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 225ml white wine
  • 2 chicken cubes
  • 250ml water
  • Few sprigs of thyme
  • Fresh rosemary

Equipment

  • 1 oven proof dish
  • 1 oven tray
  • 1 deep frying pan
  • 1 medium pot
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 knife
  • 1 tong
  • Colander
  • 2 containers, 1 for peelings and 1 for vegetables

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven on 160/170C or gas mark 3/4.
  2. Pre-heat a deep frying pan on a medium-high heat and add some oil. Leave it to get really hot.
  3. Preparing the mirepoix (onion, garlic carrot, celery and leek) chop roughly and leave on the side in a container for now. Add the thyme and bay leaves.
  4. Place the loin on the pre-heated frying pan so it can be sealed. Partially cover it and be mindful of the oil as it can start to be really bubbly and it can hurt you. Leave to cook until it gets a nice brown colour all the way round. When turning the loin onto the other sides make sure you lower the heat and then put it back to medium-high to brown the other side. Also, always partially cover.
  5. When loin is sealed (browned nicely) from all sides you can remove it from the frying pan and put it on the side on an oven tray.
  6. Add mirepoix to the frying pan, add cinnamon, give a stir and let it cook until vegetables are all nice and soft. Keep stirring occasionally.
  7. Add tomato puree, stir and let it cook as much as you can. This adds colour and thickness to the sauce.
  8. Add white wine, bring it to the boil and let it reduce. Make sure you give it a really good stir, scraping the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add the stock, bring it to the boil and let it reduce.
  10. Add peppercorns and cloves.
  11. Transfer mirepoix mix with all the sauce in an oven proof dish and put the loin on top.
  12. Cover tightly with foil and place it in the oven. Make sure no steam is allowed to come out of the foil. Leave to cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  13. After 1 1/2 hours take it out of the oven and put the loin back onto the oven tray. Keep it out of the oven.

Making the Cinnamon Sauce

  1. Place the colander over the pot and pass through the mirepoix. You are left with all of the vegetable juices.
  2. Place the pot on the hob and simmer to reduce to the consistency you prefer.`

Chocolate Tart

This chocolate tart is literally To Die For! Step-by-step method how to make the perfect chocolate tart. We use a blind baked sweet pastry crust, a mixture of melted dark chocolate, evaporated milk and cream which gives this chocolate tart recipe an incredible taste and texture.

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 500g dark cocolate, at least 64% cocoa solids
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml single cream
  • 2x170g evaporated milk
  • 200g Baked-blind sweet short crust pastry
  • Icing sugar to decorate

Equipment

  • Loose-bottom flan ring, 25cm
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 medium bowl (for melting chocolate)
  • Medium pot (for bain marie)
  • Saucepan
  • Spoon
  • Spatula
  • Rolling pin

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
  2. You should have your baked-blind pastry ready to use. Click here for sweet pastry recipe and here for baking blind method.
  3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put into a china bowl. Set over a pan of boiling water and let it melt slowly on a very low heat. Cover and leave to melt for 5 minutes, then take it off the heat and stir.
  4. Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl.
  5. Pour the cream and evaporated milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour this onto the eggs and whisk together.
  6. Strain the milk and egg mixture over the chocolate. Transfer the mixture to a bigger bowl and mix well.
  7. Pour this into the blind-baked tart case.
  8. Place the tart in the oven. Shut the door and immediately turn the oven off. Leave the tart in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours).
  10. Sprinkle some icing sugar and some chocolate curls (optional).
  11. Serve in thin slices.
beef mushroom stew

Beef and Mushroom Stew

In this full of flavour Beef and Mushroom Stew, we cooked the onions and garlic in a casserole dish, added some fried bacon to give the stew that extra flavour. We tossed the beef in flour and paprika then fried and added to the casserole. We then deglazed with red wine and beef stock and finished by cooking it in the oven.

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 900g beef shoulder, diced about 2 cm
  • 100g butter
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 50g plain flour, seasoned with 30g paprika and salt
  • 30ml oil
  • 200g streaky bacon, diced
  • 400g mushrooms
  • 400ml cooking red wine
  • 2 beef cubes melted in 400ml hot water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Chopped parsley
  • Rosemary

Equipment

  • 1 Casserole dish
  • 1 Frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • 2 small containers, 1 for peelings 1 for vegetables
  • 2 Chopping boards
  • Oven dish or another container for flour/paprika/salt mixture

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven on gas mark 3-4 (160-170 C)
  2. Heat the casserole dish on medium – high heat. Add some butter and let it melt. Add sliced onions and garlic and let them cook for about 10 minutes, until softened.
  3. Heat the frying pan on a medium – high heat and add some oil. In the meantime, change the chopping board and dice the bacon. Add bacon to the frying pan and give it a stir.
  4. Mix the flour, paprika and salt in a dish or container. Toss the beef in the flour mixture and make sure all beef is covered by using your hands.
  5. Transfer the fried bacon to the casserole dish together with the onions and garlic. Put back on the heat.
  6. Put the frying pan back on the heat, add some oil and add the mushrooms. Leave to cook until half cooked. When ready, transfer these to the casserole dish and put back on the heat. Keep stirring occasionally. Add rosemary and bay leaves.
  7. Use the frying pan again to fry the beef. Let it cook until all sides are sealed and nicely browned in colour. When ready add this to the casserole dish.
  8. Put the frying pan back on the heat and add the wine. Make sure you scrape the pan thoroughly, so all flavour is kept.
  9. Add the 400ml beef stock, give it a stir and bring it to the boil.
  10. You can now turn off the casserole dish.
  11. Once boiling, transfer to the casserole dish gently. Give it a good gentle stir and cover.
  12. Put in the oven for 1 – 1.5 hrs.
  13. When ready, take out of the oven and add the chopped parsley. Give it another good stir and serve!

Week 1

 

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MONDAY

Sweetcorn & Potato Chowder

This hearty American chowder soup recipe is rich in both fiber and flavour. It is wonderfully served with crusty bread and topped with cheddar cheese. It is an easy to do recipe, VEGAN FRIENDLY and very fulfilling. Perfect for any occasion as a starter if  you have guests arriving for dinner!

 

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TUESDAY

Oven Baked Salmon with Leek Sauce

This fresh salmon recipe demonstrates how to perfectly oven-bake the salmon in no time at all! Literally, in minutes you will have a nice healthy lunch or dinner, whether just for yourself or the whole family. Salmon is accompanied by a homemade creamy leek sauce which goes very well with this particular dish.

 

linguine-carbonara

WEDNESDAY

Linguine Carbonara – the Italian one!

This Italian carbonara recipe gives us plenty of flavour which is easily done with only a few ingredients. Its pancetta and the strong flavoured pecorino cheese is what makes it particular whilst the egg yolks give an added texture to the whole dish. 

 

 

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THURSDAY

Fresh Fig and Avocado Salad with a Manuka Honey Dressing

A healthy colourful salad is always a winner in all seasons! Whether as a side dish or a main meal, there is always an appetite for it. This easy to make salad can be enjoyed at anytime of the day!

 

noodles1

FRIDAY

Stir Fried Vegetables with Glass Noodles

This noodle recipe is full of flavour and fresh coloured veggies! It is super ideal especially if you are prepping for your work lunch to take with you, for dinner time or even for a family picnic. This can be prepared a couple of days in advance and can be eaten both warm or cold.

 

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SATURDAY

Homemade Pizza – how to make pizza dough

Homemade Pizza – who doesn’t like pizza?

This video recipe explains how to do the perfect homemade crusty pizza dough.

 

SUNDAY

Roasted Chicken Legs with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots

In this time saving recipe, we roast potatoes and carrots skin on, cut potatoes into thick slices and the carrots into chunks. We add some sliced onions and garlic with chicken legs placed on top. This is topped up with chicken stock and straight into the oven for about 1.5 hrs and basted every 20 minutes. It is the ideal recipe to do when you got kids around because you will have a lot of time left to spend looking after them instead of spending hours in the kitchen cooking.

 

Oven Baked Spring Rolls with Sweet and Sour dip

This spring rolls recipe makes a healthier alternative to the oily deep fried ones. If you’re keeping an eye on your food intake, instead of avoiding having spring rolls all the way , here’s a fantastic way to satisfy that craving. For the filling we use a combination of pork, chicken or turkey mince, carrots, bean sprouts and cabbage but you can add any other vegetables to your liking. It is also a great way to give veggies to your kids especially if they are fussy eaters.

We have added some noodles with stir fried vegetables to this dish, you can see the recipe for the noodles here.

Ingredients for filling

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
  • 400g pork, chicken or turkey mince
  • 1 large shredded carrot
  • 300g bean sprouts
  • 1 small shredded cabbage
  • 1 tsp cornlour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

Ingredients for spring rolls

  • spring roll wrappers or filo pastry sheets, defrosted
  • 2 tsp cornflour + 1 tbsp water (for sealing rolls)
  • oil spray for baking

Ingredients for sweet and sour dip

  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 115g apple cider vinegar
  • 45g brown sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

Equipment

  • large pan or wok
  • small bowl
  • dessert spoon
  • baking rack
  • baking tray

Method for the filling

  1. Heat oil in a pan or wok over high heat. Add garlic, stir quickly, then add pork or chicken mince. Cook, breaking it up as you go until it turns white.
  2. Add carrot, bean sprouts and cabbage. Cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add cornflour, soy sauce and oyster sauce, cook for 1 minute or until the liquid is gone. The filling should not be watery, it should be kind of sticky (watery filling = soggy spring rolls)
  3. Cool filling completely (hot filling = spring rolls burst open)IMG_4109

Method for spring roll

  1. Mix cornflour and water in a small bowl (for sealing rolls)
  2. Place the wrapper with the smooth side down in a diamond position. Place a very heaped dessert spoon of filling on the bottom. Roll up halfway, fold sides in, then finish rolling. Use cornflour mix to seal. They should be about 12cm long and 2.5cm wide once wrapped.
  3. Place spring rolls on a rack and place the rack on a tray. Spray very generously with oil all over. Bake at gas mark 6 for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and crispy – no need to turn.IMG_5122

Method for sweet and sour sauce

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring regularly, then simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until it thickens.IMG_5107

 

Moroccan Chicken

In this easy and full of flavour Moroccan Chicken recipe we are using cinnamon, ground ginger, saffron and fresh tomatoes combined with honey and rose water which give this sauce a very unique flavour. ONE MUST TRY!

Ingredients – Serves 4

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  • 1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 12g cinnamon
  • 18g ground ginger
  • 800g fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 275ml hot water
  • 2 chicken cubes
  • 3g saffron
  • 5ml rose water
  • 75ml honey
  •  coriander leaves, chopped

Equipment

  • deep frying pan
  • tongs
  • green chopping board
  • tray
  • 2 containers: 1 for peelings 1 for onion, garlic and tomatoes
  • wooden spoon
  • whisk

Method

  1. Heat the deep frying pan and add some oil.
  2. Place the chicken pieces onto the hot pan to be sealed from all sides until it turns into a nice golden colour.
  3. Wash and remove the eye of the tomato,  then roughly cut.Screenshot_20190219-133201_YouTube
  4. Add ground ginger and cinnamon powder.
  5. After 2 to 3 minutes remove the chicken from the pan and using the same pan add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, ground ginger and cinnamon. Turn the heat down and cook for 15 minutes stirring every 2-3 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes add water, chicken cubes and saffron then place chicken on top. Cover with a lid, turn heat down and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken, turn heat up and add the rose water, honey and some salt and pepper. Reduce to a sauce consistency for 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. While the sauce is reducing you can chop some coriander and add to the sauce.
  9. Serve sauce on top of chicken.

SUGGESTION:  When you remove the chicken from pan to reduce the sauce, if the sauce is taking more than 5 minutes to reduce please put back chicken in the sauce to heat up before serving.

 

 

Banoffee Pie

This super easy Banoffe Pie recipe is enjoyed all year round. Ingredients are easily found in your cupboard already so it is one of those desserts that comes together in no time at all! Preparation involves the crushing of the biscuits combined with melted butter so that it forms a smooth crusty base and the whipping of the cream to finish the pie nicely on top.

Ingredients – makes a 23cm loose base dish

  • 200g digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 65g caramel
  • 2 ripe banana, sliced
  • small bar of milk chocolate, half chopped roughly and half grated
  • 300 ml double cream, whipped
  • dash of vanilla essence
  • 1 strawberry, sliced for garnish

Equipment

Method

  1. Start by crushing the biscuits finely in the food processor. Leave a little bit of crushed biscuits on the side so you can use later on for garnish. Melt the butter in a small pan or heat proof jug on a low heat and combine with the crushed biscuits in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Transfer mixture onto the dish and spread it out evenly. With the back of a spoon press it down gently until a crusty base is formed. Put it in fridge for an hour to harden, if you’re in a hurry you can put it in the freezer for 15 minutes.IMG_4256
  3. Take it out from fridge or freezer and spread the caramel evenly on top of the base with the back of a spoon or a spatula.IMG_4257
  4. Now make a layer of sliced banana on top of the caramel and scatter half of the chopped milk chocolate bar on top of the banana.
  5. Add a dash of vanilla essence to the double cream and whip in a food processor until it forms a stiff cream. Spread it out on top of the banana and chocolate.
  6. For garnish we use the crushed biscuits we left on the side, the other half of the milk chocolate grated and a strawberry in the middle. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge at least for an hour or until serving so it can settle.IMG_4265

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Lampuki Pie

In this recipe we steamed Lampuki, spinach and cauliflower. Then we added fresh tomatoes, olives, peas, lemon zest and mint amongst other ingredients to create a tasty palate. Fish lovers would find this Maltese traditional recipe a real treat!

Ingredients (26cmx26cm oven dish)

  • 750g Lampuki, steamed or boiled
  • Short pastry (click here for recipe, you need to double the pastry recipe for the Lampuki pie)
  • 250g tomatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 250g cauliflower, steamed or boiled
  • 140g tomato puree
  • 200g spinach, steamed or boiled (make sure it is well drained)
  • 150g peas
  • 200g onions, cubed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g olives
  • Olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten separately
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • Mint
  • Sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper

Equipment

  • Steamer
  • Large frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fork
  • Oven dish
  • Pastry brush
  • Large plastic bowl
  • Rolling pin

Method

  1. Start by cleaning the fish, cut them into portions and steam or boil them. When ready, let them cool completely, remove the bones and flake the fish with your hands.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat up the olive oil on a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and leave to cook for around 3 minutes.
  3. Add the peas, cooked cauliflower, cooked and drained spinach, olives, tomatoes, tomato puree, lemon zest, mint and some salt and pepper. Add the flaked fish and cook for around 5 minutes.
  4. Add 1 beaten egg, give it a good stir and continue to cook until the mixture is dry and you can see no more liquids in the pan.
  5. When ready, take it off the heat and leave it on the side.
  6. Lightly grease the oven dish. Cut the dough in half and roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cover the dish with one of the pastries and prick some holes at the bottom with a fork.
  7. Transfer the fish mixture onto the dish with pastry and flatten with the back of a spoon. Cover the mixture with the other half of the pastry and again prick some holes at the top with a fork. Cut out extra bits of pastry and you can make some decorations on top of the pie.
  8. Use a pastry brush to brush to surface of the pie with the other beaten egg. Sprinkle some sesame seeds.
  9. Put in oven on gas mark 5-6 for around 40 minutes or until it turns into a nice golden colour.
  10. When ready, Take out of the oven and leave to rest for about 15 minutes before taking your first slice.

Almond Biscuits – Pastini tal-Lewz

Easy almond biscuits recipe. Crusty on the outside, soft from the inside. You will have these almond biscuits ready in no time. We mixed pure ground almond, icing sugar and egg whites to form a nice smooth dough. We then rolled into small balls, decorated with a whole almond on top and baked lightly for 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 300g pure ground almonds
  • 240g icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites, whisked
  • Almond essence, measure one tap
  • Handful of whole almonds

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large baking tray
  • Greaseproof paper or rice paper

Method

  1. Mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and almond essence in a large bowl.
  2. Add the egg whites little by little, stirring well. When all egg whites are used, switch to mixing with your hands. Continue to bring all ingredients together until a ‘dough’ forms nicely. You will think that it is going to be a dry dough but do not worry, continue to combine until all ingredients are scraped from the bowl.
  3. Transfer onto the worktop and give it a gentle knead so you have a smoother dough.
  4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or rice paper (we used greaseproof) Start taking pieces out of the dough and form into little balls with the palms of your hands. Place onto the lined baking tray.
  5. Place one whole almond on each of the ball, pressing down gently.
  6. Bake in oven 170C/gas mark 3-4 for around 15-20 minutes or until you see them getting a little brown. DO NOT let them over cook as they will harden and will not be pleasant to eat!
  7. You will notice they are still soft to the touch, it is how they should be. Once you take them out of the oven, leave them to set for around 30 minutes before taking the first bite. You will give them time to get a harder crust and a soft inside.

Sweetcorn & Potato Chowder

Full of flavour as well as fibre is this easy to make, VEGAN FRIENDLY chowder. Perfect for this cold weather or as a starter to your festive dinner!

Ingredients – Serves 8 

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  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into small cubes
  • 4 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 small green peppers, sliced
  • 60 ml oil
  • 1200 ml water
  • 4 vegetable cubes
  • 600 ml milk (for vegans substitute with soya milk)
  • 400g canned butter beans
  • 600g sweet corn kernels
  • a good pinch of dried sage
  • salt & pepper

Equipment

  • 1 large soup pot
  • wooden spoon
  • cutting knife
  • 2 large containers, 1 for peelings and 1 for vegetables
  • serving ladle
  • small knife
  • peeler
  • chopping board

Method

  1. Start by chopping and slicing your vegetables, put all of them on the side in a large container.
  2. Put the pot an a high heat and add some oil. Add all vegetables to the pot and give them a good stir. Leave to cook for about 2-3 minutes uncovered.
  3. At this stage make sure you have got all of the other ingredients ready.
  4. Give the vegetables another stir, turn the heat down, cover the pot and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat up again and add the water and vegetable cubes. Give it a good stir and bring it to the boil. Turn the heat down, cover the pot and let the chowder simmer for about 15-20 minutes.IMG_E3819[1]
  6. Turn the heat up again and add the milk, beans, sweet corn and the dried sage. Give it  all a good stir and bring it to the boil. Season and serve.